Archives Ratings Mrs. Filthy Gooden Worsted

Now Playing

Joe Leydon of the San Francisco Examiner
Hey whore, how's the whoring?

Of Kiss of the Dragon, "Jet Li is the baddest special effect to hit the megaplexes." (but apparently not the smaller theaters)

Dr. Dolittle is "uproariously clever!"

A.I. is "not Spielberg's movie anymore.
And it isn't Kubrick's. It's ours. for that we should be tremendously grateful."

Joe, your real calling is writing sappy greeting cards

Chris Ware -
Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Boy inthe World

Paula Frazer -
Indoor Universe

Quick Change

Shop at!


Big Empire

Post-it Theater

Las Vegas

The Gift ElectroniquÈ

Big Empire Buddies

©2001 by Randy Shandis Enterprises. All rights fucking reserved.

This week:

The Score

Filthy says:
"More of the same shit."

We were having a spirited discussion the other night at the Arvada Tavern about how if the Harelip played that Goddamn Britney Spears song one more time I was going to take a pool cue to the juke box. I'm one hell of an arguer when I have eight or nine Bud drafts in me. I mean, once I'm slick with liquor, I do all the things a good arguer does: not let you use facts and figures to prove me wrong, not up, and always yell louder and more obscenely than you.

On this particular night, Lloyd got to the Tavern before me, during happy hour, while drafts are only $1.25. By the time I slipped out of the apartment and joined him, he was drunker than an Italian in Las Vegas. From there it was no problem convincing him he had bowled a 300 game earlier and that the drinks were on him. Ergo, by ten I was lubricated for a fight and that Britney shit was the all I needed.

It wasn't specifically Britney that was pissing me off. It was this whole genre of efficiently and pointlessly made shit. It's shit that's made with passion, but no imagination. I'm talking about stuff made by people who want to make the shiniest, most polished pile of horseshit ever. It never occurs to them that the world already has more than enough to go around. They don't care if the shit they're making has already been made. All they know is that they want to make some shit.

The Score is shit. It isn't the steaming, wet, slippery, smell-it-from-a-mile-away kind that the Harelip is famous for. It's just run of the mill; the kind that shouldn't exist because Hollywood's septic tanks are already bulging with more of the same. The Score is, believe it or not, the umpteenth bad-guy-wants-one-last-score-before-he-goes-straight flick. It's the product of people who never met a jewel-heist cliché they didn't like and weren't ashamed to repeat.

DeNiro is the guy who wants to go straight once he makes this big last score. Going straight for him means no more stealing, just poisoning the world with pretentious jazz in his unimaginative and pretentious jazz club. Norton is the story's mandatory young turk. You know, he's the cocky kid DeNiro has to deal with. And Brando plays the older mentor who gives DeNiro the jobs and advice.

Norton has the inside scoop on a $30 million scepter inside the Montreal Customs House. It's the tightest security in town. Not only that, Montreal's where DeNiro lives and he's always sworn he'd never crap in his own backyard. I've sworn that, too, Bobby, but put a 12-pack of Schlitz in my tummy and all bets are off. DeNiro's promise is irrelevant, though, because like so much of the story here it has no impact. He agrees to do the job with hardly any coercion. He and Norton plot it out, and then they pull it off. No drama, no muss or fuss, not even any conflict between the three main actors.

There's a "surprise" plot twist at the end, of course, and it's about as predicatble as the plot. Anyone who has seen sit before knows that Norton will double-cross DeNiro. Well, he'll try, but DeNiro's the wise old man, and will counter. It's supposed to make the audience say "Oooo," but all it did was make me say "Can I go home now?"

The most bewildering thing about The Score is why it's filmed in Montreal. Hey, it's a great city to quarantine French-Canadians in, but it's about as pleasant to look at as the Harelip in a string top: all decayed and drooping. And like every movie I've seen filmed there, this one is fucking claustrophobic, filmed almost entirely indoors. I guess indoors is nicer than outdoors there.

The Score's plot is most notable for the fact that it's flatter than fucking Kansas. It plods along like a steam train, rickety and tired, but--barring a gory derailment-its destination is predetermined. Part of the problem is that Hollywood made this movie for old people, and old people love "Murder, She Wrote" and "Diagnosis: Murder." That's not to say they don't like better shit, but the grassfuckers in Hollywood always aims just a little below the lowest common denominator that worked before. The climactic heist--featuring showy high-tech stuff and lots of near misses--is the only part that shows any life, and even then it's by the book. Otherwise, there is no tension. DeNiro isn't supposed to like Norton, but he agrees to work with him damn quickly, and then they get along fine. DeNiro has the requisite girlfriend who doesn't approve of his lifestyle, but Angela Bassett is wasted in a role about as thin as the seat of Mrs. Filthy's pants. I never gave a rat's ass whether DeNiro retired for her because other than being hot she wasn't given a reason to exist. Besides that, DeNiro isn't worth rooting for. He's a fucking thief who wants to retire to run a nightclub. Oh, yeah, I can identify with that. We definitely need more shitty nightclubs with overpriced martinis.

Brando needs this big score because he's in trouble with some tough thugs. Well, that's what we're told, but we never see him in any danger, we never sense fear. We just hear him briefly piss and moan about it. Norton's character comes out of nowhere and returns to nowhere. How did he become a crook? How much does he know and where did he learn it? What does he really want? Nobody ever thought to answer these questions.

Half the scenes are of people who get along just fine sitting around tables talking civilly. Granted, this is a foreign world to me, but it's a fucking boring world. Let's see some backstabbing, fighting, scratching, or at least have some strippers jump up on the table and swing their tits around.

Why bother casting Brando? It's a fucking stunt, but they might as well have had Charlie sheen play his part. He does nothing but waddle around, breathe heavily, sweat and mumble. Any time I want to see that all I need to do is spill some jelly beans down the clearance aisle at Hancock Fabrics. Norton and DeNiro couldn't care less. They just do their work, breezing their way through the many drinking-bottled-water-at-the-jazz-club scenes.

The plot holes I mentioned gape like the passed-out Harelip's mouth after midnight. And they're as unpleasant to think about. First, Norton poses as a crippled janitor at the Customs House and that's how he learns about the scepter. But, why the fuck was he posing as a cripple at the Customs house before he even learned about the scepter? Just for kicks? Because it's hard to find work as a janitor otherwise? A few times the story works itself into corners that it can't get out of. So, voila, some new character pops up, provides key information , then disappears. At the end, DeNiro's character encounters a safe he's never cracked before. It's impossible, he says, so advanced it's like nothing he's ever seen. You can't just drill through the door, he says. The solution? Drill through its roof, which is, apparently, as flimsy as the movie's plot.

The Score is dull. It's shiny, stars big names and looks and sounds great, but I'd rather watch a story someone actually cared about. I'm sick of seeing shit spit-polished until its makers can see their reflections in it.
 Enter an e-mail address and send this page to a friend:

Want to tell Filthy something?